Oh, Dads. Funny creatures aren’t they? They’ve annoyed us with their lectures, embarrassed us with their silly sayings and cheesy jokes and even frustrated us with their pride. They’ve also shown us the ropes of life, supported our ventures every step of the way and have loved us even when we haven’t deserved any love at all. Their day is upon us once again, the day we must show them just how much we appreciate their kind hearted ways, fatherly protection and even their toleration of us as trouble-making teens. Here’s to the old dads, the new dads and the dads still pretending to be young. Here’s to my Dad, king of all dads.
10) Ted Peter’s Smoked Fish- For the beach-goin’ “back in my day” sayin’, smoked fish kind of pop.
You just can’t go wrong here. With very few options, Dad, the ultimate decision maker, will make his decision very easily. Smoked Fish? Yes please. Make it mackerel; for it has that divine oily texture with flavor that is a perfect match for the smoker. The last time I dined here I ordered the Mahi-Mahi which was also fabulous, but I assure you, Dad will be most happy with the mackerel.
9) Datz- For the youth-seeking, trend-setting, foodie kind of dad.
Datz has been on the rise ever since its doors opened on South Macdill just a few years ago. Their menu is very diverse and consistent with every dish. In addition to their long line of glorious creatively designed sandwiches Dad could put a serious hurtin on, they’ve also got some pretty killer wings I tried just recently. If your dad is anything like mine, he’ll be licking his chops after the sweet death sauced wings. Did I mention they have an amazing array of craft beers? You can thank me later.
8) Crab Shack- For the no frills, ultimate seafood feast lovin’ kind of Pops.
Go starving and leave belly-aching, stuffed. This joint has been around forever and with good reason. They are the opposite of stingy and their seafood is the freshest around. The You-Peel-Em shrimp are spectacular as are their snow crab and the fried fisherman platter. Never mind your dad, do yourself a favor and eat here!
7) BGR The Burger Joint- For the new age, burger buff kind of dad.
I can’t say enough good things about this place. Their burgers are some of the best I’ve had…in my life. So incredibly juicy, with combinations imaginative and scrumptious, Dad will sure to make BGR his new lunch staple. Convince him to order the Wellington Burger. They recently won best burger in Tampa Bay because of this masterpiece.
6) KoJack’s House of Ribs- For the finger-licking, old-style BBQ kind of Dad.
This laid-back family-owned and operated South Tampa BBQ eatery can compete with the best. Their dry rub is delicious, their massive ribs flawless in flavor and tenderness and their sausage is sinful. Their service has been superb with every visit. Located on South Gandy and in an old country farmhouse, this joint has casual picnic-table ambiance that caters to their comfort-seeking guests. Dad is sure to feel right at home, eating some of the best BBQ he’s ever tasted.
5) Hattricks- For the Sports watching, wing devouring kind of Dad.
The best buffalo wings in Tampa. This is a fact. They are known for their “shake and bake” style wings where they deep fry enormous succulent wings and then generously sauce them only to then put them under the broiler for a beautiful crispy finish. In addition to their magnificent wings, they also have many other sports bar favorites (done right) like the French Dip, Philly and Reuben. Eye candy does not shy away from here; for the ladies who work at Hattricks are some of Tampa’s finest.
4) Tampa Bay Brewing Company- For the beer craving, comfort food kind of Dad.
It’s no wonder this Ybor City gem has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
Equipped with their very own brewery, they pour some of the very best bruskies in town. Their beer sampler, consisting of all 10 in-house brewed beers is a perfect way to begin father’s day dinner. Top it off with their incredible Mushroom Demi sauced and Black and Tan onion topped Barleyhouse Meatloaf, their killer Thai Curry Mussels, or one of their delectable burgers and you will understand why Guy Fieri (DDD) came to Tampa to check this place out.
3) Mel’s Hotdogs- For the Glory-day remembering, hot-dog stand fan kind of Pops.
Mel’s is just one of those places that will always bring me back to my childhood. My parents loved taking my brother and I to this 1950's style hot dog diner. It is still one of those places that I randomly crave but seldom indulge in. Shame on me. Their hotdogs are insane. 100% beef Vienna style hotdogs that snap with that splendid casing and hugged by the softest poppy seed buns you’ve ever had; there will be no complaints from Dad. Casual, very. Worth it? Absolutely. Their crispy fries are the icing on the cake to one of many hot-dog concoctions. My favorite? The Chicago Dog. Out of this world.
2) Bern’s- For the dressed up, elegant experience desiring, fantastic steak authority kind of Dad.
If you haven’t been to this Tampa famous, world- renowned steakhouse with its unintentional brothel style interior, you are truly missing out. If you have been, you know you must go again. Berns is the original Farm to table restaurant in Tampa. They excel in both cuisine and service, giving them a successful 50+ year running. What occasion could be more perfect than taking your steak-loving dad for father’s day? Their steaks, dry aged beautifully, define perfection. I am particularly fond of their Chateaubriand as it is so juicy and flavorful. I’ve been told their porterhouse is something else. Their all-inclusive steak dinners make Berns a much more affordable upscale steakhouse option. French Onion soup that ranks supreme, a fresh dinner salad with homemade dressing and finally, your choice of steak alongside their farm to table vegetables makes for a flawless three-course meal. Make sure you leave room for dessert. Their prohibition themed dessert room is upstairs and requires separate reservations. Classic desserts likes Bananas Foster and Baked Alaska are sure to have Dad grinning from ear to ear.
1) Your very own backyard and grill- For the easy to please, casual attitude, quality family time loving kind of dad.
What could be better than buying your own burgers, hotdogs, chicken and ribs and firing up the pit to honor your dad on his special day? Hand him an ice -old beer, let him sit back and relax while you handle everything he’s ever taught you about grilling.